Mobile command center set up to assist residents impacted by flooding in Olcott

OLCOTT, N.Y. (WIVB) — The back yard of a lake shore home in Olcott is underwater. The home owners have been running a pump to try to drain it.

“Devastating it’s like the lake is becoming part of our yard,” said Carol Ralicki of Olcott.

At other Olcott homes decks have caved in and rising water levels have eroded land.

“The high waves have gone over what we’ve secured as a break wall and retaining boulders and so forth but due to the high water issue it’s still not enough,” said Kathy Reid of Olcott.

The New York State Department of Financial Services set up a mobile command center in Olcott to offer insurance help to residents impacted by flooding. But several residents say that damage to their property, like erosion, is not covered by insurance.

“Basically it’s an insurance issue and if you’re homeowners doesn’t cover it which homeowners will not cover this, they cannot do anything for us it’s going to have to come either from the state or from the federal government,” said Reid.

Earlier this week the Senate passed legislation to make emergency funding available immediately for communities along Lake Ontario affected by flooding. But Senator Rob Ortt says this would apply to municipalities, and not individual property owners.

“There is no state FEMA if you will, that just is there for individual property owners,” said State Senator Rob Ortt.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul calls the flooding an unprecedented disaster.

“We’re here to help people as best we can and that’s all I can say. We’re trying to get out the sand bags to help prevent further damage so I think we’re in crisis mode right now,” said Hochul.

The mobile command center in Olcott will be at the Olcott Fire House from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday.

Impacted residents can contact the DEC to apply for an expedited emergency permit for further help to protect their properties. For more information call 518-402-8185 or email DEC coastals@dec.ny.gov

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